Updating Your Will in Scotland: The Divorce Factor

Updating Your Will in Scotland: The Divorce Factor

Recently Divorced? It's time to think about updating your Will

Why Updating Your Will After Divorce Matters

Divorce isn’t just a significant personal change; it’s a legal shift that must be reflected in your Will. If you’ve recently gone through a divorce in Scotland, it’s time to take a fresh look at your Will. It’s not just a good idea; it’s a legal must-do to ensure your wishes are respected. That’s why you need to think about updating your Will.

The Law in Scotland: Your Will and Divorce

The legal backdrop is the Succession (Scotland) Act 2016. This piece of legislation gives us the current rules on how divorce affects Wills. It’s a modern take on the older 1964 Act of the same name, acknowledging how common divorce has become. Simply put, the Act ensures that your ex-spouse doesn’t automatically inherit under your Will as they might have before.

What Happens to Your Will When You Divorce?

As soon as your divorce is final, your Will undergoes an automatic transformation. The law now treats your ex-spouse as if they’ve predeceased you. This has big implications, especially if they were a key part of your Will. Were they your executor or a main beneficiary? It’s time to rethink these roles.

Executors and Beneficiaries: Time for a Change

Naming your spouse as an executor or a key beneficiary is common, but divorce changes this. Post-divorce, they’re effectively out of the picture in these roles. If you haven’t named a substitute executor, you could be leaving a gap in your Will. Getting a new executor on board might mean making an application to court – a hassle you can avoid with a quick Will update.

If Kids Are in the Picture

Divorce doesn’t mean you cut ties in every way, especially when kids are involved. You might still want your ex to play a role in your Will for the sake of your children. That’s fine but make it clear in your Will. You must make explicit mention of this to keep things as you want post-divorce.

Separated? Your Will Still Sees You as Married

If you’re separated but not divorced, in the eyes of your Will, you’re still married. This means any provisions for your spouse stay intact. Thinking about changing this? Don’t wait for the divorce papers; update your Will now.

What About Remarrying or Moving On?

Remarrying? Your old Will doesn’t automatically shift benefits to your new spouse. You need to make those changes yourself. And if you’re just moving in with someone new, remember, your ex is still in the picture legally unless you make updates to your Will.

The Best Time for Advice? Now

The best time to seek advice on your Will is when life throws a curveball like a divorce. Our team is here to guide you through the process, ensuring your Will matches your current life situation, not your past.

Reach Out for Guidance

Updating your Will might seem daunting, especially after a life-altering event like a divorce. But it’s crucial for ensuring that your wishes are honoured. If you’re navigating these changes, don’t hesitate to reach out for professional advice. Our experienced solicitors are here to help you make the necessary updates, providing peace of mind for the future.

You should also be aware that the very same rules apply in civil partnerships.

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